DISH Network, KDRV-12 settle dispute

One local television station is available once again via a satellite TV provider, but another will be lost to some satellite subscribers.

DISH Network has resumed carrying the signal of Medford's ABC affiliate television station, KDRV-12, after reaching a new programming agreement with the station's parent company, Chambers Communications Corp.

The agreement will return the ABC affiliates in Medford, Eugene (KEZI, Channel 9) and Bend (KOHD, Channel 9) to the satellite signals carried by DISH Network.

But, as KDRV-12 went back on DISH, Medford station KMVU-DT was about to lose its connection with a different satellite provider, DIRECTV. According to a statement on the KMVU website, the local Fox affiliate's agreement with DIRECTV was set to expire at midnight Friday.

A portion of the statement on the station's website indicated the impasse was similar to the one between DISH Network and KDRV — a dispute over how much the satellite company would pay to rebroadcast the station's signal.

"KMVU-DT has asked DIRECTV to pay them a small fraction of what they receive for reselling our signal to DIRECTV customers," the statement read.

"In the event KMVU-DT and DIRECTV are not able to reach an agreement by the conclusion of our current contract, it is possible that the signal for KMVU-DT may be removed from the DIRECTV system until such agreement is reached."

Satellite companies and cable systems purchase programming from individual content providers, such as local TV stations, and resell it to subscribers.

The KMVU website said DIRECTV customers were "likely to be paying approximately $5 per month to enjoy the local broadcast stations" and that satellite companies such as DIRECTV use the content from stations such as KMVU as "a foundation for their business model."

The signal for KMVU-DT is available over the air at Channel 26.1, or through other satellite and cable operators

Terms of the Thursday deal between DISH Network and KDRV's parent company, Chambers Communications Corp., were not disclosed.

When the three stations with Eugene-based Chambers were dropped from the satellite signal on Dec. 16, DISH officials indicated the station group was demanding a rate increase of 500 percent and "unreasonable contract terms."

In mid-December, Chambers Communications spokesman Bryan Johnson said DISH Network was the only satellite or cable provider that had "refused to pay fair market value" for the group's content and said the requested increase amounted to less than 1 cent per day per customer.

On Thursday, however, the two sides struck a deal.

"We are pleased we have reached a fair deal with Chambers Communications Corp., to bring back the ABC stations in Eugene, Medford and Bend, Ore.," said DISH senior vice president of programming Dave Shull in a statement released Friday.

"We are very pleased to have reached a new long-term agreement with DISH Network and restore service to our satellite viewers," said Chambers President Dana Siebert.

"It's unfortunate that DISH chose to pursue a negotiation strategy that resulted in an interruption in service to some of our viewers. We apologize for the inconvenience to DISH customers and for the outages they experienced."

While the local channels are coming and going from the satellite networks, two nationally syndicated channels, E! and Style, were scheduled to be dropped by DISH at midnight Friday, according to the website, eonline.com.

A note on the website read: "We are in active negotiations with DISH Network. We are trying to reach a fair agreement, however, it is our belief they will once again turn their backs on their subscribers by dropping the networks and holding E! and Style fans hostage."

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